Focus on Experiences

Am I obsessed with material things? After really considering this and many other things after my father passed away, I came to one overarching conclusion.  I need to focus more on experiences than things.

When I stood up and talked to people gathered for my father's wake I talked about experiences and events, not that he paid for my college education or put food on the table.  That's what came to mind.  It was the experiences. And they weren't always the epic experiences but just everyday experiences that made an impact on me.

That is what I want to do for my family; give them experiences they remember. Hopefully most of them are positive but even the negative ones (remember the spilled milk at wild wings)! That is what we really need. I believe that focussing on material possessions leads to "what's next" rather than experiences that you really enjoy and bring a great feeling into your mind.

Do you find yourself thinking back more about experiences or possessions? Experiences typically come to mind for me.  Even when they were about driving towards a thing.Back in the 70's I wanted a stereo so bad. I spend the entire summer washing dishes at The Nugget restaurant in Rochester Michigan saving up for that. I can still remember that September day going and buying that Onkyo Receiver the honking speakers, the turntable and the tape deck. And when I think back on that my memories are of the satisfaction of working towards that goal, not the stereo. The stereo is long gone but the memories last.

That was a wonderful time for me. I can think back when my friend and I setting a goal to ride our bikes out to Stoney Creek Metro Park to go fishing. We had never ridden that far and really set that as a goal.  I never thought that powder blue Schwinn Continental 10 speed would take me so far. I can still remember that crisp summer morning. We even arrived before the park was officially open to auto traffic.

Focus on the experience.  The experience is timeless and is not something that is thrown out or donated once you pass on to your next experience. Experiences are wonderful things that keep giving.

I believe memories are not directly relational to cost. That trip to the park, that board game, that wonderful day with family on Christmas. Those are not epic, costly items but rather inexpensive and timeless. They aren't free, remember you are investing the most valuable commodity time. You can always get more money, and things, but you can get more time back. When you invest time with someone I believe that is the ultimate gift. Nothing pays more dividends that time.

Invest your time in memories and experiences rather than just focusing on things. Challenge for the next 7 days at the end of the day ask yourself a simple question? What experience or memory did I create today? Strive for 75% memories 25% things.